The Nollywood leading man speaks on respecting veterans and finding roles that work.
Since he left the Big Brother Africa show season 9 in 2014, Tayo Faniran has been trying to find his footing as a leading man in Nollywood.
He has dabbled into other things while waiting for his big break; a stint with a clothing business, a talk show, social media influencing, etc. But with the rise of big-budget movies in Nollywood, he seems to have been finding roles that are best suited for him. This year, he starred in Gangs of Lagos, a Prime Video original alongside the veteran actor Olarotimi Fakunle.
Now, he has landed another major leading man role in Ada Omo Daddy, alongside Mercy Aigbe Adeoti, Sola Sogbowale, Omowunmi Dada and Charles Okafor. The movie, a romcom which is now streaming in cinemas is Aigbe Adeoti’s return to the producer seat after almost a decade.
Why did Faniran decide to be a part of this project?
“The guy is a very mature and calm guy,” he said, referencing Enitan, the character he plays in the film. The premise of the film is man and woman want to get married, and for reasons best known to them their families refuse. “He had value and respect for everyone. He is a lover. I wanted to fit into his shoes,” he added.
To bring the film to life his acting prowess was tested. For starters, Dada, a rising Nollywood actress plays his love interest. He also performs under the shadows of Sobowale and Okafor veterans in the industry.
“I had a great time working with this cast,” he said. “As you can see, we have all our legends, people that have been acting before I was born. Even my peers, like, people that we’re in the same age group, are also powerful actors. We had mutual love and respect on set. But trust me, it does a lot more for a person when an elder tells you ‘Well done,’” he said.
For him, having the veterans on set in particular meant that he had to go the extra mile in the respect department. “It wasn’t hard for me because I’m a Yoruba boy,” he said of “respecting” them. “Growing up being around elders, it was a must. So I’m comfortable. Where I’m from it’s not only your parents that will raise you. Respecting your elders has always been a part of me, so I was just watching. It was deep,” he added.
For now, he hopes that the message of the movie to build unity and forgiveness comes across to viewers. “The film teaches us to love ourselves irrespective of our differences. We should always come together, even though we’ve offended each other. We should always come together,” he said.